An Alabama woman who was missing for 12 days was found dead in a parked police van in Huntsville, NPR reports.
The body of Christina Nance was discovered by an officer in an unoccupied van that was parked in a lot of the police department, according to the Huntsville Police Department.
The officer who found Nance’s body observed shoes next to the parked van, approached the vehicle and discovered her body inside.
Since Sept. 25, Nance had not been seen and on Oct. 2, she was reported missing. Her body was discovered five days later.
Surveillance footage shows Nance entering the unoccupied van at about 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, Huntsville Police Deputy Chief Dewayne McCarver told reporters at a news conference last week.
“Ms. Nance is observed in the video, walking around the parking lot” on the 25th, McCarver said. “She lays down in the bushes at some point (and) she sits on the hood of a police car for some time. She approaches other cars in the parking lot. … And this all happens for about 10 minutes before she enters the van.”
According to the autopsy results from the coroner’s office of Madison County, AL., no foul play or trauma played a part in Nance’s death.
The Alabama State Medical Examiner will determine an official cause of death when all tests are completed.
After viewing the footage, the family members of Nance, are now calling for an investigation into her death.
“The video was not clear enough to indicate that that was our sister Christina Nance” her sister Whitney Nance told local news station WAFF.
The surveillance footage released Friday shows Nance walking around a parking lot, lying down in the bushes, and sitting on the hood of a police car.
McCarver told reporters that the van was unlocked, which violates “department policy” and “shouldn’t have happened.”
“All city vehicles should remain locked any time they are not in use or occupied,” he said. “Sometimes, you just have to say that was something that shouldn’t have happened. It did.”
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and several other Black victims who’ve died at the hands of police, released a statement on October 13 saying that he would be the Nance family’s attorney, CNN reports.
“We will get to the truth of what happened to Christina Nance, the young Black woman found dead in the police van in front of the Huntsville Police Department. We lift up Christina’s family with prayer as they mourn this devastating loss,” Crump said.
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